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Gold Paint for Unfinished Wood Furniture

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Hi All!

I’m a newbie when it comes to finishing miniature furniture. I have a lovely unfinished chair that has some carved detail and I’d like to repaint it gold, bronze, or dark brown and reupholster it. Can anyone recommend a brand and color of gold paint? In general, what are your favorite paint types and brands to use when painting miniature furniture? Do you prime the wood before painting? If so, what do you use. 

Thanks in advance for your help!



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Why gold or bronze?  Just because?  If it's going to pass for 18th Century French I'd prime and paint it white and use a gold Sharpie pen to pick out the details and haunt the thrift stores for white or off-white silk to reupholster with, and paint tiny floral motives on the seat and back.

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1 hour ago, QuirkyNerdyCool said:

Thanks a lot, @Sable. Would you recommend Citadel for painting furniture other colors? For instance, dark brown? 

Definitely. Since their paints are for very small models it doesn’t go on too thick. I borrow my son’s vast collection of them. I use the bronze for my faucets.

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 Small cans of Minwax or Rustoleum stains are available at Home Depot and Lowe’s. Stir them well with a small stick, do not shake them. My personal preference is Dark Walnut but everyone has their own preference. Kona is the next darkest color. 

I apply the stain with a paper towel, wait a minute or two and wipe off the excess. Let dry and sometimes I apply a water based polyurethane. You’ll have to decide on the type of sheen/gloss. 

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8 hours ago, Sable said:

Small cans of Minwax or Rustoleum stains are available at Home Depot and Lowe’s

Minwax also comes in felt pens, which are useful for staining small items, trims, etc. They are not sold as refillable, but if you have a steady hand, the felt tip can be pulled out and stain from a can can be inserted.

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Minwax is also my go-to.  I have a couple of pairs of reverse tweezers and I have been known to dip small parts into the can of stain.  For larger parts I use a piece of an old teeshirt I've cut up into rags.  The Habitat for Humanity ReStores are an economical source for stains.

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1 hour ago, KathieB said:

Minwax also comes in felt pens, which are useful for staining small items, trims, etc. They are not sold as refillable, but if you have a steady hand, the felt tip can be pulled out and stain from a can can be inserted.

I’m always forgetting about those great little pens. 

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1 minute ago, Sable said:

I’m always forgetting about those great little pens. 

I like that I can have a variety of shades on hand without having to store the cans. The pens last a fairly long time.

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Thanks so much, @Sable, @KathieB, and @havanaholly. Your suggestion are so helpful. My local hardware store only had stain markers by Varathane. I tried the dark walnut on my chair. It came out way darker than I expected. I may have applied too much of the marker. The chair finish looks more like ebony and I’m totally okay with that.  I’ve attached a photo of some real ebony chairs that have a similar look as well as photos of my chair in progress. Would love to hear if you all have any suggestions on additional techniques for finishing/refining the wood stain. 







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56 minutes ago, QuirkyNerdyCool said:

The chair finish looks more like ebony and I’m totally okay with that.

I really like the way the color turned out. One thing about stain, it doesn't clog up the carvings. :) 

I like Sable's suggestion to gently smooth out the ridges in the smooth sections of the chair. Also, try buffing with a piece of paper bag that has been crumpled to soften. It will highlight the raised bits with a lovely sheen .

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